Saturday, April 30, 2011

DRAMA in Fountain Hills :$

They weren't lying when they said Fountain Hills would be harder than Usery Pass!  Our goal today was to ride 64 miles and it seemed the wind was against us! It seemed to laugh at me  in every direction making every pedal stroke harder than normal!  Fountain Hills consists of MANY rolling hills of varying lengths and sizes.  I was pretty proud of myself that I was able to keep up with the group through the first half.

2/3's into the ride was a BEAST of an incline named by the coaches...9 mile.  I was hoping that it was the length of an Eminem song but no such luck.  It was truly 9 miles of steady incline in the middle of the desert.  I was doing pretty well riding up this beast and I seemed to get into a grove not realizing that I was all alone and almost out of water.  It did see further into the distance our SAG driver and thought to myself...good I can fill up!  So away I went and continued to pedal focusing on how pretty it was in the desert.

Well I think I went for another 20 minutes before I realized that the SAG driver was no where to be seen!  I looked around and thought I haven't seen another biker in a while..."am I on the right path?"  I rode up the the highest point of the hill and saw 2 more rolling hills and no one in front of me or behind me!  I called our SAG driver and no answer...tried another number and still no answer...I left a message and then the TEARS started.  I was out of water and didn't know if I was lost or not!   Being the wimp that I am, SYLVIA FREAKED OUT!  Thankfully just as I started the water works some of my team mates were coming down 9 mile.  One of the Mentors turned around and asked if I was OK?  I said well I am out of water and the SAG driver is not answering his phone.  I asked her if I was still on the right track and she said...You just need to get over the 2 hills and you will be at the end of 9 mile.  She gave me her water and said come back with us and we will get him to meet us at the bottom of 9 mile.  So I did...

So the SAG driver finally met up with us and I was able to fill up with water and Gatorade.  He apologized again and again because he did leave without making sure he had gotten to all the novice riders.  Although I didn't finish 9 mile I still felt good about my ride...I RODE 58 MILES and really could have made it the full 64 if I had not gotten stuck without water.

The ride back was a little more difficult considering the wind and the hills.  The last challenge was the "wailing walling."  Given the name many years ago because cyclist actually cried going up it.  I didn't cry...I noticed the Burger King Chimney smoking and knew I was close to finishing!  I got faster and FASTER!  I conquered the wailing wall, and my first nervous break down, LIFE WAS GOOD!  Checking my phone for messages I found LIFE WAS EVEN BETTER because my new Niece had been born and I had pictures waiting!  IT WAS A GREAT DAY!

Life has many challenges of ups and downs.  In no way am I comparing this experience to what my Dad or others have had to endure when fighting a disease that could take your life.  It had given me a better perspective on how small my problems really are.  Life is GREAT and we are LOVED by Heavenly Father, Jesus,Family and friends....what more do you need?

In memory of my Dad I am collecting donations for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society towards my 100 mile cycle ride on June 5th.  Please donate what you can...every little bit helps : D

Monday, April 25, 2011

Farwell Usery Pass!

Before we begin each ride we have what is called "Mission Moments"  stories are told about those who have battled Leukemia or Lymphoma and won and those who have passed.  I decided to share my reason for joining Team in Training.  Not being able to hold back my tears I told the story about how my Dad fought this illness without every complaining or feeling sorry for himself.  How he dealt with his sickness inspired me to join the team and how he continued to inspire me to never give up!  "I ride for my Dad today and everyday."  There was not a dry eye in the group.... 

Saturdays ride was BITTER SWEET.  Bitter that I was unable to do the 55 Miles.  SWEET that my ride was easier for me to complete!  I had enough energy after the ride to go another 9 miles.

There was another novice rider that had not completed Usery Pass for 1 reason or another.  Knowing that I was alone during most of our last ride and how hard it could be on someone struggling mentally, I told her I would stick with her during our ride.   We maintained our speed and it felt good especially when she made it.  It wasn't easy but she did it! 
Usery Pass had gotten easier for me...I am stronger mentally and physically by pushing through.  It's a GREAT feeling!!!

When we got back to the parking lot I checked my phone for messages.  I had gotten 3 phone calls during my ride and forgotten to turn off my ringer.  1 message was from my cousin Rebecca...
She said she thought she had seen me on Usery Pass. She wanted me to call her back to let her know if it was me so she could throw something at me.  If you know my Family you know we are ruthless teasers...but always with LOVE.  What are the odds of that??!  She later said that once she saw my smile she knew it was me.  When you think about it, it's kind of cool that someone saw what I was doing.  She said she was going to spread the news..."Sylvia really is riding her bike!"

So I bid farewell to Usery Pass...although she haunted me in the beginning I conquered her and became stronger for it!  Next up Fountain Hills!   We will be building up to 75 miles in the next 4 weeks!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dreaded Usery Pass!

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post.  3 weeks ago my team and I were introduced to Usery Pass.  It is a road that leads to the Salt River and is very popular with Motorcycle riders, Campers, and Cyclists.  Real DESERT BEAUTY!  Behind that beauty lies a ride that was SOOO challenging.  It consisted of a 3 and 1/2 mile steady incline along with rolling hills that I need to get up.  Let me start by saying I LOVE LOVE LOVE riding down hill at 44 miles per hour!  Pretty exhilarating!  What I DON'T  love...are those DANG HILLS that I need to conquer before my decent!

My ride yesterday was 46 miles!  I was quite a bit faster then the first time up dreaded usery pass and NO cussing was involved!  What is even funnier are the "real" cyclist  that continue to pass be up but have words of encouragement for me!  I am not going to lie I NEEDED IT!    On the decent back down from usery pass I noticed just how fast I was going and thought to myself..."I rode up this?"  Kind of amazing considering the "wimp" I am!  There were a few times when I found myself alone and really thought about stopping and turning around.  It was those times that I called on Heavenly Father for a little extra strength to make it and I found the will to push forward.  It may sound a little silly but it is all about endurance and the reasons I am doing this.

Everyone in 1 way or another has been effected by cancer.  Whether it was a personal battle to live or you were witnessing a loved one fight it...we have all been touched by it.

I am collecting donations for the Leukemia Lymphoma 100 mile cycle ride is in memory of my Dad who lost his battle with non Hopkins Lymphoma on November 16, 2010.  Please do what you can to help me raise money towards my ride.  Every little bit helps  ;)